When Software Companies don't accept No

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 26, 2016

One of the most frustrating experience when it comes to software is how some companies won't accept no for an answer when it comes to software.

A prime example of this is how Microsoft advertises Windows 10 on devices running Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Instead of displaying a one-time dialog to users with clearly identifiable Yes, No and maybe "not now" options, it uses various tactics to push its new operating system.

Besides using various designs and layouts for the Get Windows 10 dialog, Microsoft is pushing out updates for the upgrade dialog regularly. Users who don't want Windows 10 have to block (again) those to avoid getting the PC upgraded to the operating system.

I described the practice as having the characteristics of a never-ending legal malware attack. In essence, Microsoft won't accept the user's choice (if one can be made that states no) but interprets it as not now but maybe later instead.

When Software Companies don't accept No

But Microsoft is not the only company that won't take (one) no for an answer. The following happens when you install a free Auslogics program for instance.

The installer displays the choice between express and custom installation. If you have installed software previously on Windows, you know that custom is the way to go as it will reveal any offers the developer might have slipped into the package.

In Auslogics case, it is the company's BoostSpeed application that will get installed if you select express install.

BoostSpeed is a commercial program that will be installed as a trial version on the PC if the option is not unchecked at that point.

So far so normal. Auslogics displays another screen at the end of the installation that confirms to the user that the program installed correctly.

A "run a free scan" checkbox is checked on that prompt and can be interpreted wrongly by the user depending on the program installed.

If you install Duplicate File Finder for instance, you would expect the program to scan the PC for duplicates.

The three bullet points on the page hint that it may be unrelated to the program you just installed, but only the hovering over the information icon next to the option reveals that leaving the box checked will install BoostSpeed on the system.

Then, after unchecking that box and clicking finish, you are taken to the Auslogics website where yet another offer to download BoostSpeed is presented to you in an overlay on the site.


You get three offers to install BoostSpeed, of which two may be overlooked depending on your computing experience.

Auslogics is not the only company that makes use of these tactics to get its software installed on user systems.

If Java is installed on your PC for instance, you may get third-party offers during installation or upgrades as well, and usually the same offer.

You can avoid those however as Oracle implemented an option in the settings to block those, but that requires that you know about it in first place.

Closing Words

Some users may stop using software by companies that don't value user choice or use deceptive tactics to get users to install software they have no interest in. My colleague Wayne over on Betanews removed the Auslogics program from his PC as a result for instance.

While it is relatively easy when it comes to software that you install, the case looks a bit different when it comes to the operating system.

Windows 7 and 8 users cannot just stop using the operating system, at least not easily. While the installation of Linux may be an option, it is something that many users shy away from for various reasons.

I don't mind offers when it comes to the installation or upgrading of software on Windows. What I dislike is if deception is used to get users to install these offers, and when companies won't accept the first no for an answer.

Now You: What's your experience with this?

When Software Companies don't accept No
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When Software Companies don't accept No
The article looks at how some software companies won't accept no when it comes to the installation or upgrading of software on Windows.
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  1. Anonymous said on November 1, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Great article. Every thing you mention, I’ve experienced. Additionally, while running each of these programs, there is a popup for Boostpeed mid-process. Having used “free” Auslogics software for years, I am now considering removing it all (defrag, reg cleaner, reg defrag) for this very reason. It doesn’t help me THAT much. Time for an alternative – maybe portable is the way to go anyway…

  2. o_O said on July 6, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    … or linux

  3. o_O said on July 6, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Use zip/portable/universal extractor, Windows was and is a minefield.

  4. S2015 said on June 28, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Auslogics has a new site@ TweakBit. and that company has been flagged due the usage of OpenCandy. For more info, you can review this discussion@ https://community.norton.com/en/forums/please-help-norton-re-evaluating-website-too-long

    All in all, avoid using all the other risky computer programs, e.g., WeatherBug for Windows ( https://removeunwantedprograms.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/uninstall-weatherbug/ ) , the Windows version of MyPC Backup ( https://removeunwantedprograms.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/how-to-uninstall-mypc-backup-program-windows-mac/ )

    Just make the best of Google Virustoal, as that domain will take care of most badware/ domains in the internet!

  5. Earl said on June 27, 2016 at 10:56 am

    I’m already leaving Windows in the dust. All of my “general” browsing is on a chromebox (a Linux kernel-based OS “device”), (1) because I wanted a new, all solid-state computer, and (2) Chrome OS plus Android apps will handle all of what I want to use a computer for. I’ll just keep my Win7 box around (disconnected from the Internet) so I can play Microsoft Hearts. ;) I won’t need to even think about what “OS version” my chromebox is running.

    Plus, my ebook reader is a chromebook even though I have a Kindle. It’s much more like reading a paper book.

    Lastly, my home phone is an Android smartphone. Small, cheap solid-state devices–some connected to large HD-TVs… it’s a new world, and Microsoft has no place in it for me. It’s their own fault for thinking my computer belongs to them.

  6. Q said on June 27, 2016 at 6:36 am

    “Windows 7 and 8 users cannot just stop using the operating system, at least not easily. While the installation of Linux may be an option, it is something that many users shy away from for various reasons.”

    Typically, given the current threat from Microsoft tactics, I would recommend using a Windows XP family operating system (preferred) or a Windows Vista-based operating system. For user that were willing to use Windows 7, they may find Windows Vista to be very similar and still have useful features or control of such features that were removed in Windows 7. Many Windows licenses have what are know as downgrade rights and allow for the use of a previous series Windows operating system to be used without breach of the use terms.

    Most importantly, do not use Windows Update, particularly on Windows 7 family or newer family operating systems.

  7. Jack Alexander said on June 27, 2016 at 3:38 am

    I use ‘Unchecky’ in my tray: https://unchecky.com/

  8. mikef90000 said on June 27, 2016 at 1:13 am

    Another company to stay away from is NCH Software in, off all places, Australia.

    Most of their application installers bring along installer links to the rest of their products, AND there is no clean Uninstall / remove option. You have to do a lot of manual deleting and registry editing to purge these from your system. Ugh!

  9. Anonymous said on June 26, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Good article Martin.

    Tom Hawacks words, “The software hall of shame,” could be a new thing for you here on GHacks.

    Why not have a tab at the top Named Hall of Shame and place software that would do this type, or any other crap treatment of their users?

  10. Wayfarer said on June 26, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    These software companies are just shooting themselves in the foot – why can’t they ever see this? I’ve lost count of the application – many excellent to start with – that I’ve abandoned because their publishers simply can’t behave themselves. It’s a similar tale with Android, where even a download from Google Play Store can’t automatically be trusted any more.

    It’s a bit like my local petrol station. With 15 miles to the next petrol supply, they think they can get away with a 10% premium on normal prices. Trouble is, no-one ever fills up – they just buy enough petrol to travel 15 miles. Duh…

    Same with software – you may claim that freebies have to be paid for somehow. But that’s rather like saying that customers should pay every time they watch a TV ad. Screw over your potential customer base when they’re trying out your freebies and they’re NEVER going to buy your paid-for versions. It isn’t about price – it’s about reputation and trust. Neither of those can be bought – and certainly not with short-term ducks and dodges.

  11. oz said on June 26, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Thanks for the article, Martin! :)

    The less control I’m given with any software, the less likely I’ll ever install that software (or OS). Screw those companies don’t like that and want to insist on maintaining all control. I’m definitely not a good target for their products, and likely never will be. I do try to thoroughly research any software and its pros and cons before installing it.

  12. Al said on June 26, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Unfortunately, as much as we may not like it, these tactics work.

    The target market for them is not the experienced, educated consumer where the quality of the software matters and competition thrives.

    Instead, they target the clueless newbie that can be MONETIZED much easier. After all, us “in the know” are careful where we spend our money and have a better understanding of what works and more importantly, what else is out there.

    The occasional user is put to task just clicking (and of course, when and where to click) as anybody who’s helped a nontechnie navigate their computer. (Hey Bob, a window just popped up asking me…should I?).

    It’s all about the benjamins guys. Microsoft would rather monetize the new data they are getting from W10 and put up with a few disgruntled users (I’m one of them), who eventually give in anyway. Sad, but true.

    (BTW, while I gave in to W10, it wasn’t without a GOOD fight. To the point where I learned to uninstall pkgs and blocked IPs via the router and tinkered group policy, etc, etc. Did the best I could…)

    1. Jeff-FL said on June 26, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Btw, not sure if you’re aware, but you can uninstall a lot more in Win 10 than you might think. Even the Windows Store can be removed using Powershell. I was given a laptop recently that already had W10 on it, so I’ve been tinkering with it on that. I’ve found that most annoyances can be removed, and with a bit of effort it can be about 95% privatized.

      1. Al said on June 26, 2016 at 9:19 pm

        Yes, I know. ;) but it takes a lot of time….

        I weary of mentioning just how much can go, since I wouldn’t be surprised if it violates the EULA.

        Crazy as that sounds, It’s probably illegal to not let big brother snoop on you. Oh George…..

  13. Paul(us) said on June 26, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Martin, Great article again like always!
    But your giving Auslogic much more lean way/credit than they deserve because there much more aggressive than you reporting about. For instance there “free” program Auslogic register cleaner has all the tricks that you where mention in your article. But its getting worse once installed before every run (nowadays),during the run and also after the run of the register cleaner program the user is getting offers in the screen and also popup screen.
    Maybe the not so experienced user will say yes to there very cleverly hidden trick questions on the screen and on the pop up screens. Ferry ( in capital bold letters) annoying.

  14. Vrai said on June 26, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    I stopped using any Auslogics software a long time ago because of their “pushy” sales tactics. Now whenever I see any of their products I view them with distrust and skepticism. Auslogics has permanently damaged their brand just as Sourceforge has.

  15. Mark Hazard said on June 26, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Thanks for the article, Martin. I’ll stay away from Auslogics.
    BTW, Unchecky doesn’t work in all cases.

  16. Moloch said on June 26, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    As much as i would like to stay on windows 7 and being concerned about 10’s privacy, no support for DX12 is whats gonna push me to 10 in a few weeks (getting the 1080 Ti when it releases in the future so i need DX12), upgrading wont be an option since i have 7 home premium atm and i want to get 10 pro, and while the keys are really cheap atm i think the prices will skyrocket once the upgrade isnt free anymore.

    Well played MS, well played.

    1. Testuser said on June 27, 2016 at 11:21 pm

      @Moloch If everyone like you wouldn’t upgrade, then DirectX 12 for Windows 7 would be just a matter of time… But with this attitude we are going to lose this one.

    2. Tom Hawack said on June 26, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      Gamers seem to praise Windows 10 as other (or the same) gamers praise Las Vegas. Always ready to pay the price for the thrill, the price of Windows 10 being less that of its license than that of its invasion of the user’s privacy.

      Whatever, remains Windows 10 as all software concerned by this article. Microsoft is member of the Software Hall Of Shame. But I am aware that not everyone feels concerned by dignity and not everyone gets annoyed by the fact of getting pushed into the Pleasure Dome even before they realize it. Reminds me the Parisian Pigalle of my youth where you had those pushers to enter 2nd category “cabarets” and other cheap night-clubs, or the Tokyo subway with company employees whose job is to push people in the wagons before the departure. Diversity is ours, fortunately. Here we dislike being pushed, even towards paradise, and we don’t agree on showing our intimacy for the sake of an improved OS, should it be that it is improved in all domains. Windows 7 until its term.

      1. Moloch said on June 26, 2016 at 9:03 pm


        Im not a hardcore gamer at all, but when i buy a graphics card thats quite expensive i want to use it to its full potential which sadly isnt going to be happening on windows 7, besides, i only play AAA titles anyway so i guess they will get their win10 support working since they would loose alot of paying customers if they dont.

      2. gamer said on June 26, 2016 at 5:15 pm

        I’m a gamer but not hardcore gamer. I play online games 1-2 hours everyday.
        Gamers praise Win 10? Maybe because they’re hardcore gamers that need DX12.
        For more casual games, those games are having problems like not working in Win 10.
        One example: http://closershq.com/Discussion-Running-Closers-on-window-10

  17. Yuliya said on June 26, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    I don’t really use software that behaves in such manner, I just try to avoid it or find alternatives. The only one is uTorrent, but since I use a portable version from Portable Apps I never get to see the installation dialogue. Lately I’ve been using more and more portable versions of applications, I feel that if it doesn’t need context menu integration or anything like that, I see no reason to install it. FOr instance CCleaner, a program which you run, close, then you probably won’t touch for a month or two. No reason for that to be installed. Also, easier to backup the profile, so..

    As for OS, well, I’ve yet to find a better OS, for me, than 7, so I just hide those updates. Worst case I’ll turn off the update system and call it a day, I’m cautious enough and I feel that uBlockOrigin is doing a great job at blocking malware spreading websites and such.

    One thing that I hate is this “junk files” term. It tricks people into believing that it’s something wrong with their computer which that software can fix, which is entirely false. There’s a special place for this kind of developers who use such scare tactics, I’m sure of that >:D Thankfully you don’t need to be a computer genius not to fall for these things.

    Few days ago I noticed the GWX adware on a friends’ laptop running Win8, I asked her if she wants Win10, which she strongly denied, stating that it pops up once every week and needs to close/deny the offer. I then run Never10 – I don’t know which updates need to be hidden on 8 to completely get rid of it – and that thing is now gone from her laptop. And it’s good, even if you don’t know how to remove something like this, try to avoid/postpone/deny it until you find someone who can help you. NEVER accept something that you did not explicitly requested.

  18. Tom said on June 26, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    I don’t know what people are doing wrong… I use Windows 7 and I’ve never received any upgrade offers for Windows 10.

    1. swamper said on June 26, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      I think I may have seen you say that before, somebody did anyway. How old is the box you have 7 on? It may not necessarily be how old it is either. If the OEM stranded the box by not making drivers that ported to 10 can also be the case. Or if you built it yourself the motherboard itself could be stranded. If your not getting them then it’s your system that’s stopping it. Or your blocking it. Not really any other ways around it. MS is pushing 10 on anything compatible.

      It’s not what everybody else is doing wrong in any case. I had multiple people I know get upgraded without asking and some of those had various GWX blocking in place. I didn’t based on I locked down Win update and sorted my updates before install.

      Last Check for Updates on 7 I ran took an hour and a half just to check. Not my box caused that and not my internet, it was MS not liking me locking down Win Update and that I hadn’t checked for updates or even booted Win 7 for 3 months. It took 4 cores of an i7 2700k OC’d 4.3ghz at 50-70% load 1.5 hrs to Check for Updates. I can build an entire Linux from Scratch on this box in that amount of time with less resource usage, I have done that multiple times. I could have compiled Windows in less time. Nothing loads my box down for 1.5 hrs like that except Folding@Home or a stress test of some sort. Best thing out of that deal was I know my cpu cooler is still good at load keeping under 50 C …

      1. Tom said on June 26, 2016 at 8:25 pm

        You’re probably right. I use a laptop Dell L501x, and after some light googling, I can’t see many encouraging signs of Windows 10 compatibility >_> There was me thinking I was some elite mofo running some special hax setting that only a b0ss would know about.

  19. Henk van Setten said on June 26, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    What strikes me most here is that apparently, many software companies don’t seem to realize that in the long run, with such deceptive install tricks they’re shooting themselves in the foot.

    For the short term they lure in naive and less-experienced users, some of whom will still try to undo unintended installs afterwards. But at the same time (and for the longer term) they antagonize, irritate and even anger all the more experienced users. What these companies seem to overlook here, is that by definition this latter group includes all the influentual opinion makers.

    In other words: for some dubious short-term gain, they pay by getting their public reputation tainted. And we all know how it is: a good reputation is easily lost but, once lost, much harder to restore.

    How can company policy makers be so shortsighted?

    1. Tom Hawack said on June 26, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Short-term is the word and seems to include more and more business policies, from software to ultra-liberal financial institutions but not only when it seems to me this hysteria for immediate satisfaction is becoming a way of life for individuals as well. “I want it now” leads to blindness not only of the consequences in time but also of the very meaning of choices, i.e. Uk’s referendum. Lack of rational analysis and lack of medium/long term perspectives is the lot of consuming when consuming becomes the only aim and nourishes correlative angers. This is why, IMO of course, ethics are such an essential component of all decisions, because if you can fail with an ethical approach you never will mistake. Moreover honesty is an excellent plus-value for any product, appreciated together with the price and maybe even before the cost. Unfortunately some companies haven’t understood that. You can make money, even big money with dishonest tactics but doing so will not contribute to future development, it may even guarantee a failure.

  20. Bored Llama said on June 26, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    I already removed Auslogics disk defrag for the same reasons. It was OK in the first incarnations but then became just as described above.

    Won’t be bothering with any of their products, free or paid for, in future.

  21. Tom Hawack said on June 26, 2016 at 11:55 am

    The software hall of shame is increasing day after day but lately some companies as those mentioned in the article seem to have jumped to the next level, that of a total lack of complex when it comes to respect of the user.

    Another example is the ‘PDF Shaper’ application with its latest ‘Free 6.0’ version. At the end of the install you have a window ‘Install additional software’ (http://hpics.li/85f9bcf) with a description in tiny font where you hardly can notice the “Click here” link which will indeed provide the details and user’s choices (http://hpics.li/52e41af) including as checked ByteFence software on the left and on the right the install of the Chromium browser together with setting Yahoo! as the default search engine and home-page for all installed browsers …

    Thanks to articles like this one users may start being aware of such lousy practices but unfortunately many continue and will continue to get trapped in shameful software installation tactics. There was a dedicated forum called “Hall of shame” of software over at dozleng I think, the site which also provided the “Calendar Of Updates” (COU) page but which has disappeared I think. Whatever this “Hall of Shame” is more alive than ever. This is not a business practice but a swindle in terms of ethics, at least.

    1. Mike S. said on June 27, 2016 at 5:01 pm

      Tom, good to see you still here. :)

      1. Tom Hawack said on June 27, 2016 at 7:05 pm

        Hi, Mike S. … someone told me eternity was only a concept :)
        Nice to read you!

    2. Just a Very Concerned User said on June 26, 2016 at 5:39 pm

      Hi Tom,

      In regards to PDF Shaper (Free), you do have a choice, just like CCleaner, who do offer a slim version. You can either download the regular PDF Shaper installer with the additional software, or download the alternative installer that Burnaware offers without the additional software (http://i.imgur.com/955HUg1.jpg).

      1. Tom Hawack said on June 26, 2016 at 11:35 pm

        Indeed, I found the page and the link on pdfshaper’s download page, thanks a lot, valuable information.
        1- I should have searched for, imagined that such an option (without additional offers) could be made available as it is with other applications such as CCleaner ;
        2- Nevertheless I haven’t seen this link elsewhere than on that page, but I guess that if honesty is available one shouldn’t expect it to be offered so deliberately to the point of disadvantaging the company : search and you will (may) find, otherwise you have no true need … I can admit that, as a compromise between wise business and open-minded honesty :) Especially now that I’m aware of the alternative download! Funny, the impact of one’s reality on the amplitude of one’s principles, which is why wealthiness is never the source of a revolt, I guess!

  22. Croatoan said on June 26, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Few software companies have good behavior (e.g. NirSoft and PortableApps).

    Did Microsoft downgraded OneDrive space quota because of Win 10 telemetry?

    1. Roman Podolyan said on June 26, 2016 at 11:39 am

      Well, if some software tries to bug me with different opt-out, not opt-in based offers, or obtrusive ads, I’m trying to get rid of it. That is what I did to popular CCleaner tool I used for years: when they resorted to interactive monitoring and multiple recommendations, I switched to BleachBit.

      Also, in my opinion Unchecky is Must Have service now.

      1. Ann said on June 27, 2016 at 12:54 pm

        CCleaner just warns mer when to upgrade tha’t all, never saw any offer for other SW.
        But when to download through tier link , you always get thet coparison and offer to buy pro.
        but then again, i just got to filehippo directly to download the latest version.

        other software that has this ugly habit are:
        AVG free (and most other free AV)
        Razer Synapse

      2. Jeff-FL said on June 26, 2016 at 8:42 pm

        CCleaner’s active monitoring is easily disabled in the options. I got lucky and got a free copy of CCleaner Pro with an A/V license i bought. It self updates, offers no additional software and never nags about anything.

  23. Sid said on June 26, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Thanks for the article Martin! I’ll remove Auslogics software asap!

  24. Pants said on June 26, 2016 at 10:19 am

    I do not install any software*, I only use portable, generally downloaded from the developers’ sites. Of some 350+ programs/utilities, about three I need to “install” (in a sandbox) in order to extract the files. A handful I use 7zip or universal extractor, but the vast majority are provided as zip/rars or standalone exes (a few exe’s are unpackers, and a few like Opera just need to an option checked as portable).

    * Ok, I lied. On my 4.5yrs old machine, looking through the installed programs starting at Dec 7th 2012 (and not counting any drivers etc), I have MS Office, Photoshop and Sandboxie, as well as some utilities such as Classic Shell, Clover, UltraMon, F.lux, Fiddler/Wireshark/WinPcap .. and an AV+Firewall. That’s it. No Flash, no Silverlight, no Java, no Dropbox (I will use the web interface because they are too invasive now), no browsers, nothing .. nada, zip, zilch.

    1. ilev said on June 27, 2016 at 8:55 am

      “I do not install any software*, I only use portable”


  25. nonEnglish said on June 26, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Last good comprehensive package Auslogics, which acted as it should be and look like a tool and not a toy for a preschooler, it BoostSpeed A single tool Auslogics, I can recommend only Disk Defrag, preferably in a portable version and a cut-off access to the network for file GASender.

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